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Antarctic Treaty

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to reach agreement with other signatory nations on the location of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat; and if he will make a statement. [38198]

22 Jul 1996 : Column: 40

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: The United Kingdom is keen to see this issue resolved, but the Antarctic treaty consultative parties have yet to reach an agreement by consensus on the location of the Antarctic treaty secretariat.

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Government of Japan concerning their policy in respect of the Antarctic treaty; and if he will make a statement. [38102]

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: At the recent annual meeting of the Antarctic treaty consultative parties in Utrecht, the United Kingdom urged Japan and the other three states that have not yet ratified the environmental protocol to do so at the earliest opportunity. Officials have also been in correspondence with their Japanese counterparts on a range of detailed technical issues relating to the protocol.

Nicaragua

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to assist independent monitoring of the forthcoming elections in Nicaragua; and if he will make a statement. [38103]

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: The EU will send a team of observers to monitor the Nicaraguan elections in November. Dr. David Browning will be the UK observer assisted by the staff at the embassy in Managua.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what instructions he has issued to British posts overseas regarding (a) the acceptance and recording of applications for political asylum, (b) the consideration of such applications, (c) the granting of such applications, (d) the refusal of such applications, (e) the right of appeal against refusal to grant asylum; if exceptional applications are considered at posts from women claiming they are victims of or threatened with forcible abortions or sterilisation; and if he will make a statement. [38582]

Mr. Hanley: Entry clearance officers at British posts overseas are guided by the following advice on asylum matters:


Rahmana Bibi

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a decision is to be taken on the application to the British post in Islamabad by Rahmana Bibi, Ref. D3059 to join her husband in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [38580]

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Mr. Hanley: I have asked the high commission at Islamabad for details and will arrange for the hon. Member to receive a substantive reply from the migration and visa correspondence unit as soon as possible.

Falkland Islands Company

Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what subsidies Her Majesty's Government pay to (a) the Falkland Islands Company (b) its subsidiary and (c) related companies; what was the value of these subsidies in each of the last five years; to what use they were put; and if he will make a statement. [38783]

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: HMG have paid no subsidies to the Falkland Islands Company or any subsidiary or related companies in the last five years.

"A Partnership of Nations"

Sir Peter Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to table United Kingdom Government proposals for the European Union intergovernmental conference foreshadowed in "A Partnership of Nations". [39236]

Mr. David Davis: The United Kingdom negotiators are today tabling the following proposals in the IGC working party. (a) a memorandum on the European Court of Justice working up in detail the proposals outlined in paragraph 37 of "A Partnership of Nations"; (b) the addition of a protocol to the EC treaty enabling member states to take appropriate action to regulate quota-hopping in the common fisheries policy. The details of this are set out more fully in a written answer to today's date from my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry). (c) a package of measures to improve the quality of EC legislation, including Commission legislation; (d) an amendment to article 42 of the EC treaty to provide for the state aid provisions of the treaty to apply to all agricultural products; (e) an amendment to article 129c of the EC treaty to make clear that private sector projects are eligible for Community budget support under the financial regulation on trans-European networks; (f) the addition of a protocol to the EC treaty which will place a formal legal obligation on Community institutions to give full regard to considerations of animal welfare in the exercise of their powers on agriculture, transport, research and the single market.

These proposals were placed on the House Libraries this morning.

The Government are currently working up a number of other proposals including on the health and safety article and on subsidiarity which will be tabled in due course.

22 Jul 1996 : Column: 42

HOME DEPARTMENT

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for entry clearance in order to seek asylum in the United Kingdom were (a) received and (b) granted by country during 1995 and the first quarter of 1996. [38070]

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number of days asylum seekers have been held in custody in 1995-96; and at what aggregate cost. [38105]

Mr. Kirhope: This information is not available.

Immigration

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for entry clearance from (a) wives, (b) husbands, (c) fiances, (d) fiancees made at British posts in (1) New Delhi, (2) Bombay, (3) Calcutta, (4) Madras, (5) Dhaka, (6) Islmabad, (7) Karachi, (8) Colombo, (9) Accra, (10) Lagos, (11) Manila, (12) Bangkok, (13) Washington and (14) Ottawa for (y) each quarter since January 1995, and (z) in total, were (a) received, (b) granted and (c) refused; how many refusals at each post were (i) wholly and (ii) partly because the visa officer was not satisfied that the primary purpose of the marriage was not immigration; how many refusals at each post were (i) wholly and (ii) partly because the visa officer was not satisfied that the couple could support and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds; what was the refusal rate at each post; and what percentage of those refusals were (x) wholly and (y) partly on primary purpose grounds. [38074]

Mr. Kirkhope: Information for the Indian sub-continent for each quarter of 1995 and the first quarter of 1996 is given in the tables. As they are lengthy, copies of these have been placed in the Library. Where numbers are small, figures for individual posts have been combined. Information on reasons for refusals is not complied for periods shorter than 12 months. Corresponding information for Colombo, Accra, Lagos, Manila, Bangkok, Washington and Ottawa is not available centrally.

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were waiting for special quota vouchers in (a) India, (b)east Africa and (c) the rest of the world in (i) June 1995, (ii) December 1995 and (iii) June 1996; when those issued with vouchers on those dates had applied; how many vouchers were issued in (1) India, (2) east Africa and (3) the rest of the world in (A) 1995 and (B) the first half of 1996; when those applying now can expect to receive vouchers; and how many applicants there were for vouchers in (v) India and (w) east Africa and (x) the rest of the world in (y) 1995 and (z) the first half of 1996. [38078]

Mr. Kirkhope: The available information is given in the tables.

Persons applying for a special voucher of entry to the United Kingdom, 1995 and 1996
Persons

Applications newly received(9) Vouchers issued Applications awaiting a decision at the end of:
1995Q1Q21995Q1Q2Q2Q4Q2
1996199619961996199519951996
India2908050180505090120140
Kenya130n/an/a120n/an/a12090n/a
Tanzania20(10)--(10)--(10)--10(10)--404030
Malawi(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--nilnil(10)--(10)--
Zambia(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--
Rest of the world(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--(10)--n/a(10)--(10)--n/a

(9) Includes applications subsequently withdrawn or lapsed.

(10) 5 or fewer.

n/a = Data not available.


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22 Jul 1996 : Column: 43

Waiting times for persons applying for a special voucher, 1995 and 1996
Months

Waiting times to first interview for persons at end of: Persons applying at end of:
June 1995December 1995June 1996
IndiaNilNilNil
Kenya1.000.25n/a
Tanzania1.51.001.00
Malawi0.250.250.25
Zambian/an/an/a
Rest of the Worldn/an/an/a

n/a = Not available


Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average time taken by his Department to investigate cases referred from overseas posts in order to assess whether the maintenance and accommodation requirements of the immigration rules have been met. [38066]

Mr. Kirkhope: The information requested is not available centrally.

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate as to how many applications for (a) adult registration with entitlement,(b) naturalisation and (c) registration of minors his Department (i) will receive and (ii) expects to grant in 1996-97. [38072]

Mr. Kirkhope: The latest estimate of the number of citizenship applications likely to be received and granted in 1996-97 is as follows:

IntakeApplications granted
Adult registration3,8003,300
Naturalisation40,50032,200
Minor registration11,00010,400
Total55,30045,900

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many operations against people alleged to be in the United Kingdom illegally, involving both immigration officers and police, took place during 1995 and 1996 to the latest convenient date; and for each operation by date and by name, how many (a) immigration officers and (b) police officers were involved, how many people were arrested and found to be (i) legally in the United Kingdom, (ii) in breach of

22 Jul 1996 : Column: 44

immigration conditions, (iii) alleged illegal entrants and (iv) British citizens; how many requested and were granted legal advice before interview; how many were detained for (x) one day or less, (y) between a day and a week and (z) over a week; and how many have subsequently left the United Kingdom. [38060]

Mr. Kirkhope: The information requested is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for (a) single entry and (b) multiple entry visit visas were (i) received, (ii) granted and (iii) refused at each post in the Indian sub-continent, Ghana, Nigeria, the Philippines and Jamaica in each quarter of 1995 and the first quarters of 1996; and what was the delay between application and interview for those whose applications were felt to need a second or long interview at each of those posts in (i) June 1995, (ii) January 1996 and (iii) June 1996 or the nearest available date. [38069]

Mr. Kirkhope: The information requested is not readily available and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. I would refer the hon. Member to my answer to his question on 9 January, Official Report, columns 191-92.

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) husbands, (b) wives and (c) dependent children have been refused (i) extension of stay and (ii) settlement in the United Kingdom on the grounds that he is not satisfied that they can be maintained and accommodated without recourse to public funds, in each quarter since January 1995, and in total. [38083]

Mr. Kirkhope: The available information relating to after entry cases is given in the table. Information on dependent children is not readily available.

Refusals(11)on grounds of maintenance and accommodation, of after-entry applications by husbands and wives (numbers of persons)

Refusals to grant probationary year on grounds of:
AccommodationMaintenanceMaintenance and accommodationRefusals of settlement after probationary year(12)
1995
Quarter 1
Husbands--2--10
Wives--2--5
Quarter 2
Husbands------2
Wives--222
Quarter 3
Husbands1----6
Wives2125
Quarter 4
Husbands1126
Wives1243
1996
Quarter 1
Husbands------3
Wives--122
Quarter 2
Husbands------6
Wives--1--1
Total
Husbands23233
Wives391018

(11) Excluding dependants.

(12) Refusals of settlement after probationary year on general considerations, including recourse to public funds.


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22 Jul 1996 : Column: 46

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people during 1995 and the first quarter of 1996 were (a) required to undergo a medical examination and (b) refused entry clearance abroad and in which countries, for (i) settlement and (ii) other purposes on medical grounds; and what are the most common medical grounds for refusal. [38061]

Mr. Kirkhope: This information is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for settlement by wives and children in (a) Dhaka and (b) Islamabad were (i) received, (ii) granted, (iii) refused, (iv) deferred at first interview, (v) lapsed and (vi) outstanding and awaiting first interview for each quarter since the beginning of 1995. [38071]

Mr. Kirkhope: The available information is given in the table.

Applications for entry clearance for settlement made by wives and children in Dhaka and Islamabad, 1995 to 1996

1995 1996
Year
Q1Q2Q3Q4Q1
Applications newly received(13)
Dhaka5407505805002,370440
Islamabad1,0809609009003,8401,110
Applications granted(14)
Dhaka3303603704601,510320
Islamabad5907706205402,530820
Applications refused initially
Dhaka2603104103401,320250
Islamabad2802503203201,170420
Applications withdrawn or lapsed
Dhaka(16)--(16)--10(16)--2020
Islamabad50100806029070
Applications outstanding at end of period
Dhaka2,1902,3202,1601,8801,8801,760
Islamabad2,8302,8102,8002,8702,8702,790
Applicants awaiting first interview at end of period
Dhaka(15)3020nilnilnilnil
Islamabad9701,2901,4401,2801,2801,340

(13) Including applications subsequently withdrawn or lapsed.

(14) Granted initially or on appeal.

(15) In Dhaka the majority of applications are resolved without interview.

(16) Five or fewer.


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Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many outstanding immigration applications there are at Lunar house from (a) students, (b) family members in the United Kingdom applying for variation of stay, (c) settlement entry clearance applications referred from overseas post and (d) asylum seekers; and what are the average times applicants in each category might expect to wait before a decision. [38067]

Mr. Kirhope: The available information is that at the end of June 1996 there were in total about 21,500 cases in the general immigration and settlement caseworking groups of the after entry and appeals directorate--including referred entry clearance applications--the majority of which were under consideration of the subject of further inquiries, and about 64,700 cases in the asylum directorate caseworking teams.

The estimated average length of time between the receipt of an application and the decision for cases in AEAD caseworking groups, in the second quarter of 1996, was about three months for students. The waiting time for asylum applications is on average about 11 months for post-Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 cases and 45 months for those made before. Information on average waiting times for family members in the United Kingdom for variation of leave and for settlement entry clearance application referred from overseas posts is not available.

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for British citizenship under section 4(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981 have been (a) made, (b) granted and (c) refused in each quarter since January 1994; and how many of those granted have been on the grounds of service in the armed forces. [38073]

Mr. Kirkhope: One application was received in each of the months April, September and December 1994, June 1995 and June 1996. Of these, one has been granted, three have been refused and one has not yet been decided. The application which was granted was made on the ground of service in the armed forces.


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